Today, women represent only 11.3% of the Australian construction workforce — and only 5.5% in South Australia.
These figures fall behind those of comparative industries, such as energy, water, waste and mining, in which up to 22% of the workforce is female. To address this imbalance, we were approached by the industry body CITB to deliver a campaign targeting employers, aiming to raise awareness about the work being performed by women in the construction industry and to challenge the preconceived beliefs that prevent women from obtaining employment in this key industry.
Our answer to the brief took the form of a quick, simple thought experiment. The campaign’s text begins by describing an unseen construction worker — Sam, for example. Sam’s job title is given, then a few fun, light-hearted descriptors of Sam, ending with the revelation that Sam is in fact a woman.
Due to nothing more than the gender ambiguity of the chosen name, and the entrenched gender bias that surrounds the construction industry, this comes as a surprising twist to many. This innocuous lie of omission gently compels the reader to examine their own subconscious thoughts and beliefs surrounding women in construction.
The campaign's design style incorporates soft, stereotypically feminine colours that make a reader's gender assumption seem even more misguided following the final reveal.
Photography was used to visually represent each of the descriptors mentioned throughout the campaign, and a floating design style that provides visual interest, but also versatility as the campaign is brought to life across print materials, outdoor media and online.
Simple was involved with this campaign from initial consultation with industry stakeholders, through to the development of the campaign strategy, its execution (including design, copywriting and photography) and its extensive implementation.